Sunday, April 10, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Oh my goodness, how I love this movie! Again, I have to say that Elizabeth Taylor is a most believable actress. I can’t think of any three characters more different than Velvet Brown, Cleopatra and Maggie the Cat but she makes all three entirely believable. Paul Newman is delicious and Burl Ives is bombastically fantastic.

In many ways, this is the counterpoint to A Streetcar Named Desire. In Streetcar the characters are all wistful and losing their grip on reality. In Cat, they are vibrant and coming to grips with reality. In Streetcar, the characters are fainting; in Cat, they are waking up.

I think this Elizabeth Taylor at her absolutely loveliest. She is so ladylike (even though her character is far from it) and vivacious and dangerous. “That girl’s got life in her body,” says Big Daddy. Yes, sir she does.

Above is the first look that Maggie the Cat appears on film in. Here is my interpretation:

Shirt: Kohl’s Sonoma life + style Camp Shirt in New White, $26
Skirt: Talbot’s Lindsey Fabric refined smooth pencil skirt in Putty, on sale for $49
Belt: Anthropologie Green Thumb Belt in Red, $28
Bag: Cappelli 478 Multi-Stripe Toyo Tote, $32 via
Shoes: Aldo Kea Women’s Peep-Toe Pump, $70
Total: $205.00

Only $5 over budget and what a look! This office appropriate but also could be a casual weekend, out to lunch sort of look. The whole thing looks like it would be comfortable during summertime in the South. I love how the shoes match the skirt without bring too uptight about it. The red belt and the striped bag make it all hang together and really echo Elizabeth Taylor’s look.

How did people in the South survive the summers without air conditioning? And why in the world did women still wear stockings then? I have no idea how they did it.

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